Myeloma Action Month to focus on bringing hope through action

This year’s event asks the question, 'What does myeloma mean to me?'

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by Mary Chapman |

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Myeloma Action Month (MAM) is observed each March to call attention to multiple myeloma and the people affected by it, and this year’s event will focus on bringing hope to patients and caregivers through action.

The international campaign is designed to improve awareness of myeloma among policymakers, researchers, public authorities, health professionals, and industry representatives, along with the general public. Myeloma accounts for 10% of all blood cancers and is the second most common blood malignancy in the world, but many people have never heard of it, The disorder is often confused with melanoma, a skin cancer, according to MAM organizers.

The annual event is coordinated by the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF), which will be supported this year by the Global Myeloma Action Network (GMAN) and its dozens of patient groups around the world. The organizations are teaming up to encourage members to share their stories about topics important to them along with those of resilience and hope.

“This March Myeloma Action Month stands as a testament to the collective power of ACTION,” Yelak Biru, IMF president and CEO, said in a press release. “Myeloma Action Month isn’t just about awareness; it’s about empowering ourselves, our loved ones, and the global community to fight back. We rise for the countless individuals who face this disease head-on, the care partners who are our rocks, the researchers who are relentlessly seeking breakthroughs, and the advocates using their voices to demand change.”

“Every voice raised and every step taken bring us closer to a future free from myeloma. Together, we can empower patients to navigate their journeys confidently, accelerate research toward a cure, and shatter the silence surrounding this disease,” said Biru, a 28-year survivor of myeloma.

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Sharing their stories

Members of the myeloma community are invited to share their stories on social media with the hashtag #MyelomaACTIONMonth to create digital “ripples” that form a global wave of awareness.

To initiate the ripple effect, the IMF will post questions on social media and encourages visitors to tag friends and family members and ask them to “take action.” This year’s event centers around the question, “What does myeloma mean to me?”

Stories from patients, family members. caregivers, healthcare professionals, and others will be curated on the IMF’s virtual Wall of Action to create a mosaic for anyone seeking to learn more about myeloma.

IMF events for the month will include:

  • On March 2, an all-day IMF Regional Community Workshop in San Diego, at the Westin San Diego Bayview, where presenters will include healthcare professionals
  • On March 5, 4 p.m. (PST), a Facebook Live Q&A with Beth Faiman, PhD, IMF nurse leadership board member, who will share ideas about how to live well with myeloma
  • On March 9,  7 p.m., the Mission for Matt fundraiser at the Plattdeutsch Park restaurant in Franklin Square, New York
  • On March 15, the March for Myeloma 5K Run/Walk in Boca Raton, Florida, which seeks to raise $80,00 to fight myeloma
  • On March 15-16, a free IMF Patient and Family Seminar at the Boca Raton Marriott at Boca Center, which will include a keynote address by Saad Usmani, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, who will join Joseph Mikhael, MD, IMF chief medical officer, on March 16 at 12:15 a.m. (EST) for a Facebook Live Q&A about the future of myeloma
  • On March 23, an all-day IMF Regional Community Workshop in Seattle, at The Marriott Westin Seattle where healthcare professionals and support group representatives will make presentations
  • On March 28, 4 p.m. (PST), a Facebook Live Q&A with Urvi A. Shah, MD, who seeks to develop dietary guidelines for blood-related malignancies such as multiple myeloma.

“GMAN member organizations are strongly engaged with myeloma communities in their respective countries,” said Serdar Erdogan, IMF director for GMAN and European & Middle Eastern Patient Programs. “With this year’s IMF Global Myeloma Action Month campaign, the voices of patients and care partners will be heard — and louder than ever before. Your messages and actions across the globe for Myeloma Action Month will prove valuable for the IMF’s precious efforts in fulfilling its mission: Improving the quality of life of myeloma patients while working toward prevention and a cure. We are One Myeloma Nation!”